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Janani Suraksha Yojana pays dividends: Study (Relevant for GS Prelims, GS Mains Paper II)

What is JSY?
Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) (Mother Security Scheme) is an Indian Government scheme proposed by the Government of India. It was launched in 2005 by the Prime Minister of India. It aim to decrease the neo-natal and maternal deaths happening in the country by promoting institutional delivery of babies. This is a safe motherhood intervention under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). 

It is a 100% centrally sponsored scheme it integrates cash assistance with delivery and post-delivery care. The success of the scheme would be determined by the increase in institutional delivery among the poor families.

JSY Outcomes
1. According to a paper , “JSY has led to an enhancement in the utilisation of health services among all groups especially among the poorer and underserved sections in the rural areas, thereby reducing the prevalent disparities in maternal care.”

2. While previous studies had shown the impact of JSY in reducing maternal mortality, it was not known if it had reduced socioeconomic inequalities — differences in access to maternal care between individual people of higher or lower socioeconomic status.

Details of the Study
The study was conducted using data from two rounds of the India Human Development Survey (IHDS) — conducted in 2004-05 and 2011-12. The IHDS data serves two advantages in this case. First, round 1 of IHDS was conducted in 2004-05 when the JSY was not in place and round two was conducted six years after the launch, providing a before-after scenario for comparison. Secondly, the IHDS is a longitudinal data set — same households were interviewed in both rounds, which allows to examine changes in maternal care patterns.

Three key services of maternal care were used for the analysis: full antenatal care (full ANC), safe delivery, and postnatal care.

There were three major findings. 
First, the increase in utilisation of all three maternal healthcare services between the two rounds was remarkably higher among illiterate or less educated and poor women. “This documents the effect of the JSY scheme, where women with little or no education were motivated to utilise maternal health care services,” the study says.

Secondly, the usage of all three maternal healthcare services by the OBC, Dalit, Adivasis and Muslim women increased between the surveys. The study found that after the implementation of the JSY, “there was generally a narrowing of the gap between the less educated and more educated women and between the poorer and richer women.”

Thirdly, it was found in the survey that women in their early 20s were more likely to avail of all three maternal health care services as compared to their older women. 

Concerns
Note that inequality in access to maternal care persists. The study, however, notes that the gap in access to healthcare between the marginalised group of women and those who are financially better-off has narrowed with JSY.

High incidence of maternal mortality continue to plague India. As per the latest Lancet series on maternal health, India accounted for 15 per cent of the total maternal deaths in the world in 2015 — second only to Nigeria — with 45,000 women dying during pregnancy or childbirth.

 



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